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Unveiling WIPO's Latest Customized Resources for OAPI Member States: IP Diagnostics Tool and Collection of Leading Judgments on IP

July 19, 2023

During the General Assemblies of WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) unveiled its WIPO IP Diagnostics tool for the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). The event also introduced the WIPO Collection of Leading Judgments on IPR: Members of the African Intellectual Property Organization (1997-2018). The opening remarks delivered by Mr. Marco M. Alemán, Assistant Director General, IP and Innovation Ecosystem Sector, and Mr. Denis Bohoussou, Director General, OAPI, emphasized the significance of these initiatives in developing a balanced and effective global intellectual property (IP) ecosystem, supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and strengthening IP protection.

(Photo: WIPO/Frarma)

At the core of the first initiative is the recognition of the vital role played by SMEs in driving regional development and economic growth. Both Director General Bohoussou and Mr. Marco Aleman highlighted the potential of innovative SMEs in shaping sustainable development and technological advancements. The WIPO IP Diagnostics Tool has already provided over 22,000 customized reports worldwide in its first 18 months. By joining the WIPO IP Diagnostics tool family, OAPI member states are expected to significantly benefit, unlocking Africa's vast potential by effectively managing their IP assets.

(Photo: WIPO/Frarma)

The WIPO IP Diagnostics tool, specifically adapted and contextualized to the OAPI legal and regulatory context, offers businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals in the 17 OAPI member states an opportunity to identify their intellectual property assets, leverage them strategically, and incorporate them into their business strategies. The tool now encompasses a broader scope of analysis, including trade names, plant variety protection, and geographical indications, providing a comprehensive and relatable diagnostic tool for the African business community.

OAPI member states expressed their appreciation for this initiative, emphasizing its importance in fostering a robust IP ecosystem and supporting economic growth.

(Photo: WIPO/Frarma)

In addition, the WIPO Collection of Leading Judgments on IP Rights was introduced as a resource that provides unprecedented global access to landmark IP judgments from the OAPI region, serving as a valuable resource for stakeholders worldwide.

WIPO recognizes the crucial role played by the judiciary in upholding the IP and innovation ecosystem acknowledging the challenges faced by IP judiciaries worldwide due to the rapid pace of technological transformation. To strengthen the judicial administration of IP disputes within the OAPI region, WIPO is committed to collaborating with OAPI and its member states. Efforts include enhancing public access to leading IP judgments, building judicial expertise through resources and education programs, and facilitating transnational judicial dialogue.

OAPI member states expressed their gratitude for the Collection, recognizing its value not only for judges, but also for IP practitioners, entrepreneurs, academics, and policymakers globally. They also welcomed the availability of additional materials that WIPO offers for judiciaries in general, enabling adjudicators to compare and draw inspiration from judicial approaches beyond the OAPI region.

The unveiling of these customized resources marks a significant milestone in the collaboration between OAPI and WIPO, fostering innovation, supporting SMEs, and strengthening IP protection in the OAPI region. The IP Diagnostics Tool and the Collection of Leading Judgments on IP Rights are expected to drive positive change, empower businesses and adjudicators, contributing to the development of a dynamic and effective global IP ecosystem.